"Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one'."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The "Run"down

Crossing the finish line after the Rock N' Roll Half Marathon in Seattle.
"I decided to go for a little run." - Forrest Gump
I wanted this post to be a big deal, some major revelation about my passion for running.  Like, it gives me clarity and purpose or some b.s. like that.  But the reality is pretty straight forward: I started running to lose my baby weight for a friend's wedding and I was stunned by how fast it came off.  I continued running because I liked the way my swimsuit fit that summer.  I was hooked after I participated in my first 5k that fall, there's nothing like the rush of crossing the finish line after a lifetime of never excelling athletically in any way.  I run because I have an anxious personality, always worrying, but when I run my head is quiet.  And the crux of the matter: I run because I love to eat.  My metabolism, post-pregnancies and sans running, simply cannot keep up with my love for butter.  Bacon.  Chocolate.  Caramel.  Cheese.  Good wine.  Sigh.  So I run!

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
I run, but I don't consider myself a runner.  I'm not alone. I've heard this over and over from friends, as if, if you weren't on the high school track team, you missed the lifetime registration deadline for "Runner Status". 

"Desire is the most important factor in the success of any athlete." - Willie Shoemaker
I run.  And I have a secret.  I want to run in the Boston Marathon to celebrate turning thirty (which gives me about three and a half years to train).  This sounds benign enough if you don't know what you're talking about, which I didn't when I originally had the idea.  They don't let "just anybody" run this race.  It's for the creme de la creme of runners--the seriously dedicated and, in my case, seriously delusional.  You have to qualify and it's no easy feat.  A female in my age group needs to run in a qualifying race and finish with a time of 3:40 or better...just under 9 minutes per mile.

Boston Marathon Qualifying Times Page
http://run350.blogspot.com/  -- A great blog by a Boston Marathoner who started out a lot like me. 

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." - Thomas A. Edison
But don't worry, I have a back-up plan.  I'm raising three small children and it's entirely possible that my lofty ambitions could be thrown off course by life.  The Cape Cod Marathon is one of the top ten most scenic marathons in America and you don't have to qualify.  It's held in Falmouth, MA, which is about a hour and a half from Boston, and I've always wanted to visit New England.  An equally great way to celebrate turning the big 3-0!!  Am I selling myself short by having a back-up plan or just being realistic?  Can't decide.

"The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals." - Hal Higdon
My [only] 5k time was 28:33 and my half-mary time (see above picture) was 2:17, slowed down by significant running-related stomach issues that day.  I know how much better I could have done if I'd been running at 100%.  My personal best mile (ever) is 7:47 and that's not fast by any stretch of the imagination.  I'll never win a race, but that's not the point. 

"I still bother with runners I call hamburgers. They're never going to run any record times. But they can fulfill their own potential." - Bill Bowerman
I'm a hamburger.  And I'm looking for a marathon mentor: some benevolent woman out there just dying to take a novice runner under her wing... for free.  I'm not after much--just someone to follow around who has a clue what she's doing.  If you know someone who fits the bill, give me a shout.

Why do YOU run?  I'd love to hear about the passion and addiction from another perspective.  Happy running!


  1. you are truly inspiational!

  2. ok i cant spell with 1 hand...inspirational :)

  3. Thanks K. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. :) xoxo

  4. Another example of how amazing my wife is... and how lucky I am!

  5. I loved reading this and your quotes were really relevant to life.

  6. Love the quotes, especially the Higdon. I have no doubt that you will run your marathon. And knowing you, you'll also be at that starting line in Boston some day too. So proud of you Sarah, and so incredibly inspired by you.